The current West End revival of Harold Pinter’s 1958 modern classic The Birthday Party, starring Henry Goodman and Eileen Atkins, has posted closing notices at the Duchess Theatre. The production opened on 25 April 2005 (previews from 20 April) and had just extended its run by one week to 16 July. Instead, it will now close on 25 June 2005 after a run of two months.

Pinter’s first full-length play, The Birthday Party centres on unemployed musician Stanley, who leads a mundane but peaceful life as the only guest living with the mumsy doting Meg (Atkins) and quiet agreeable Petey. When the sinister Goldberg (Goodman) and McCann arrive, their intentions grow progressively ominous. Everyone, from the resort owners to the unsuspecting girl next door, becomes caught up in Stanley´s peculiar birthday party.

Goodman’s many London stage credits include Art, Guys and Dolls, Angels in America, Feelgood, Follies, Chicago, as well as The Merchant of Venice and Assassins, both of which he won Oliviers for. A fellow multiple Olivier winner, Atkins has won awards for Cymbeline, The Unexpected Man and last year’s Honour. Her other stage credits include The Killing of Sister George and, earlier this year on Broadway, The Retreat from Moscow, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award.

The cast also features Geoffrey Hutchings, Finbar Lynch, Sinead Matthews and Paul Ritter. The production, which was first seen at Birmingham Rep in March, is directed by Lindsay Posner, designed by Peter McKintosh and presented in the West End by Duncan C Weldon and Paul Elliot in association with Birmingham Rep.

- by Terri Paddock